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The Power Of Plasma: Hive Lighting

BY: Marjorie Galas, Editor

There was strong buzz about Hive Lighting at SXSW. A swarm of professionals frequented Hive’s booth at NAB 2014. What was the attraction? An award-winning lighting system that, fashioned after the sun, has created a mechanism that’s as cool to the touch as an LED, but exceeds and LED’s output and color quality.

Created in 2011, Hive Lighting’s plasma system takes inspiration from the surface of the sun, which is essentially a large ball of heated gas that’s transformed into liquid plasma. The Hive Lighting bulbs are pressure free gas capsules that convert to plasma when a charge is introduced. This process prevents energy from being wasted as heat, keeping the fixture cool to the touch and requiring a fraction of electrical power required by most other systems. The optics of each Hive Lighting product have been designed around the bulb, creating maximum lighting output. Plasma also offers a full light spectrum, allowing for a natural look in any situation including blue and green screen shoots.

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Hive’s plasma bulb life is 10,000 plus hours. This is thirty times more than a standard HPL. The bulbs are easy to replace when they’ve maxed their shelf life and if broken, emit less toxic material than an average bulb. While many production professionals have embraced the light-weight and efficient LED lamps, their output does not match the Hive Lights, the color quality of LEDs are not as natural, and if one bulb in an LED panel breaks, the entire panel must be replaced.
Hive Lighting presents four products that may be purchased individually or in kits containing barn doors, scrims, stands and when applicable, lenses and silks. The lights include the Drone, a 276 Watt spot. This Plasma lamp has the same output as a 750 watt HPL Tungsten lamp. The Wasp is a 276 par that reaches the output of a 400 Watt HMI par. The plasma source is flicker-free, has universal orientation and provides a full, even spectrum. Using a standard 65/8 par lens the Wasp can change from spot to flood with set standard lenses for all applications.

The Hornet is a 276 Watt Fresnel with a flood beam angle of 65 degrees that can be spotted down to 10 degrees. The Killer is a two light plasma maxi: this unique system uses the Wasp’s plasma par optics and combines two lights in one housing. A single killer can be used as a double par, where two killers can be combined using a frame to make 2×2 arrays. The arrays can be used as a four light maxi or hung in a 6K spacelight bag, creating a spacelight that draws 1080 watts versus a 6,000 watt tungsten maxi spotlight

This spring Hive Lighting announced the latest addition to their line: the Bee. The Bee is a 276 Watt flood with a 100 degree field that features a unique reflector system which creates a bell curve of output distribution. The Bee also offers a new feature to the Hive line: a daylight dial. The daylight dial offers fully tune-able color temperature from 4600K to 7000K without a green/magenta shift, as well as the ability to shift completely to a deep blue “moonlight’ tone. This dial allows the user to create a natural sunlight track over the course of 24 hours without the use of gels.

Studios such as Warner Bros., Sony and Paramount are enjoying the benefits of utilizing Hive Lighting on their productions. Programs and films including “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “True Blood” and “Divergent” have been aided by Hive Lights. While the popularity of the Hive lights continues to expand, the company has made a commitment to the California Production Landscape. They are an L.A> Based company that constructs all Hive products locally. Additionally, 80% of the material used to manufacture the lights is sourced in California.

To learn more about Hive Lighting, please visit their website: